5 Tips To Be Less Of A Perfectionist.
Happy Monday, Everyone!
Last week, I needed the few reminders that I wrote down somewhere last year. I never got around to posting them.
Until now that is…
I’ve mentioned it before that I am a perfectionist. I’ve come to learn (over the years) that being a perfectionist isn’t a bad thing. It just means you don’t settle for a certain result. However, when your perfectionism hinders your own growth, that’s when things get tricky. The five “tips” I wrote down for myself are things I noticed after I was doing art for about two years (for other people). During that time, I struggled a lot with my perfectionism as I kept thinking that the art I created wasn’t good enough and why people even wanted to hire me. I have learned to let a few things go, for a bit anyway. Maybe I can save someone else a bit of time when they reflect why they can’t post more drawings or why they are so harsh towards themselves.
1. Accept Where You Are Now And Enjoy The Reactions You Get In The Present.
Don’t strive for the attention you want your art to have, instead focus on the attention your art is getting now. When I look at my art from a few years ago, I kind of cringe and I want to close my site immediately. No lie here. My perfectionist behavior kicks in and I only see the flaws in my work. The truth is that I wouldn’t be here without those little doodles. Did the people back then notice my flaws, some did, some didn’t. More importantly, they picked up on the feelings behind it and the way it made them feel. This brought me to where I am now, not perfect art skills.
2. Be Open To Learn.
Realize that you are in a constant learning mode. It’s a good thing to have a goal of where you want your art and skills to be, but leave room for flow and experimentation. You shouldn’t get too comfortable. When I first started out, I wanted to completely predict the road that was laying in front of me and figure out where any obstacles could occur. Even though it’s a good thing to have a certain road map in front of you, you can’t fully map out every single step you want to take. Sometimes you’ll find that a specific art style you love isn’t for you and something you didn’t even think you could do, becomes your strongest asset. In a way, I used my perfectionist to learn more than the basics with certain skills and then I could decide if I liked it or not. The learning process never ends.
3. There Is No Perfect Time To Upload Whatever You Want To Share.
Just post and see what happens. Sure some days the feedback will be more than others, but try not to pay too much attention to this. You can always add a bit of thought process why you drew something, but don’t let time pass by saying “let me just tweak it a bit more” or “Ahh I don’t think I should post it juuuuust yet…”
You will always find a reason to make things better, but the question is will you really perfect something by doing so? You can always post and see how people react on it while you perfect it a bit more. I have quite a few pieces that didn’t do much for me, but that got a lot of attention from my network. It’s difficult to pinpoint what will attract people and if you’ll only focus on pieces that are uploaded when it’s right for you…you might lose some valuable feedback from your audience. If you like to read an older article by me regarding this, then visit: Hidden In A Treasure Chest.
4. Make Use Of The Material You Have Now.
It’s very easy to use excuses like, “I don’t have the proper paper or pencils” and “I don’t have the money to get the art stuff that I want”. I postponed several pieces because I didn’t have the right paper or colors and when I finally got it, I didn’t like the outcome. Of course you always have the chance that it will work out, but the most basic thing you need is a piece of paper and a pen or pencil. Oh. And your imagination. That’s it.
I don’t have a huge budget and I really have to weigh out the pros and cons before I get new art material for personal projects. I recall mentioning that I wanted to try my hand on “wood burning”, I still do, but I couldn’t justify purchasing a starters set when I started to get more commissions. I settled for better quality paint and brushes instead. When I wanted to explore the art material world a bit more, I settled for stuff that were on sale and just tried it out when I could. I still have a box of water soluble oil paints and ink jars
5. Have Fun. Even When You Fail.
I’ve failed. A lot. I let this bother me. A lot. But in the end what does this get me? Nothing, but grey hairs. I’m not saying that you can’t be bummed out as long as you don’t forget that these “failures” will bring you closer to whatever perfection you’re trying to achieve! When you’re an artist, you’re leaning on your own motivation and own persistence to make things work. So, start with subjects that you love or have an interest in. You have it in your own hands to make the drawing practice as boring or as fun as you want. I mentioned “having fun” in my other post with tips to get better at drawing. Having fun is a crucial element throughout the entire creative process!
Last week, when I kept failing, I just stopped as my pissed off mood just made it worse and I watched Studio Ghibli. These movies never ever fail to give me back some inspiration and happiness.
Maybe you’re wondering how I broke through that perfectionist wall in the first place? Well, I was sick and tired of how I kept pulling myself down while people clearly loved the doodles I did. I couldn’t justify my own negative behavior or why I wanted to wallow around in a puddle of self-pity why my skills aren’t better. And when you break through that wall, you don’t want to sit in the mess, right? I slowly started to post daily peeks on Facebook with a little ramble. I couldn’t magically change my skills, I just had to keep on creating. In a way, perfectionism goes hand in hand with fear, huh? Fear that you see my weakness in certain technical areas. Sometimes I wonder if perfectionism isn’t just a cover-up for the fear and doubts you have about your own work.
Please note that these five things are things I tell myself to keep in mind. They are not set in stone at all and if you have other tips, just list them below! I’d love to know about them.
Have a great start of your week!